Obstacles That Make Ethical Decisions Difficult in the Workplace

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Obstacles That Make Ethical Decisions Difficult in the Workplace
Gandhi Heryanto, Director, Indonesia

We know that although a highly intelligent and strategic-minded individual when he faced a moral decision in practice, he failed. However, in a training exercises seem far more easier to be ethical. Why are moral decisions sometimes easily resolved in the classroom but often harder to successfully resolve in practice?
There are three obstacles that make ethical decisions in the workplace different and more difficult than in training simulations:
1. In exercises, the consequential decision is identified for participants. Instead of confronting the challenge of identifying which of the many hundreds of decisions made each day have ethical overtones, exercises hand the specific dilemma to participants.
2. Factor distinguishing training exercises from real-life decision making is that training inevitably exposes different points of views and judgments.
3. Unlike in training, when a single decision might be given an hour of careful analysis, most actual decisions are made quickly and rely on intuition rather than careful, reflective reasoning. This can be especially problematic for moral decisions, which often rely on routine and intuitions that produce mindless judgements that don't match up with how wed desire to respond if we considered the decision with more time.
The challenge for organizations is to cultivate environments where ethical decisions are easier, not more difficult. Creating training exercises that better simulate the actual environment, circumstances, and pressures where ethical decisions are made is the first step toward addressing these critical challenges.
Sources: Soltes, E., "Why Its So Hard to Train Someone to Make an Ethical Decision" Harvard Business Review.

. 20-3-2017



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